Russia and China toasted to their “no limit friendship” on Tuesday during a Kremlin meeting filled with pledges of expanding ties amid the fighting in Ukraine.
After hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a private dinner for 4 1/2 hours the previous night, Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted him for official talks involving top officials from both countries in the old imperial palace.
During an extended meeting, Putin said he and Xi had a "meaningful and sincere exchange on perspectives of further development of Russia-China ties and on strengthening cooperation on the world stage."
Xi's three-day visit to Russia offers a strong political boost to Putin just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on charges of involvement in abductions of thousands of children from Ukraine.
The Russian and Chinese leaders signed a new strategic partnership between their countries and called for a diplomatic solution to Moscow’s war against Ukraine, but Putin said he sees no indication that the Kyiv government and its Western allies are ready for peace talks.
After two days of talks with Xi at the Kremlin, Putin accused the United States and Western countries of fighting “to the last Ukrainian” but praised what he said was China’s “neutral position” on the war.
China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Beijing and Moscow believe that the United Nations Charter “must be observed and international law must be respected,” but made no demand that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine or honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.
China recently proposed a 12-point plan calling for a de-escalation and eventual cease-fire in Ukraine, which the West has rejected because it would lock in place Russian territorial gains, including its illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and more land seized by Russia in eastern Ukraine during its 13-month invasion.
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